Animation · Movies · Podcast Unlimited · Uncategorized · Versus

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles VS. Kung Fu Panda

tmnt_vs_kung_fu_panda

(Editor’s Note: This post was originally written by Keith Feltenstein.)

This week we have a very special anthropomorphic rock ’em sock ’em, beat ’em up “Versus”!  A hoedown throwdown, so to speak. It’s more martial arts mayhem, as we have the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Vs Kung Fu Panda and The Furious Five! So who would you vote for to win this fight? Here’s a little about each team:


The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

the-teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles first appeared in an American comic book published by Mirage Studios in 1984 in Dover, New Hampshire. The concept arose from a humorous drawing sketched out by Eastman during a casual evening of brainstorming and bad television with Laird. Using money from a tax refund, together with a loan from Eastman’s uncle, the young artists self-published a single-issue comic intended to parody four of the most popular comics of the early 1980s: Marvel Comics’ Daredevil and New Mutants, Dave Sim’s Cerebus, and Frank Miller’s Ronin. The TMNT comic series has been published in various incarnations by various comic book companies since 1984.

The Turtles started their rise to mainstream success when a licensing agent, Mark Freedman, sought out Eastman and Laird to propose wider merchandising opportunities for the franchise. In 1986, Dark Horse Miniatures produced a set of 15 mm lead figurines. In January 1987, Eastman and Laird visited the offices of Playmates Toys Inc, a small California toy company that wanted to expand into the action figure market. Development was undertaken by a creative team of companies and individuals: Jerry Sachs, ad man of Sachs-Finley Agency, brought together the animators at Murakami-Wolf-Swenson headed by Fred Wolf. Wolf and his team combined concepts and ideas with the Playmates marketing crew, headed by Karl Aaronian, VP of sales Richard Sallis and VP of Playmates Bill Carlson.

Aaronian brought on several designers, and concepteur and writer John C. Schulte and worked out the simple back story that would live on toy packaging for the entire run of the product and show.[5] Sachs called the high concept pitch “Green Against Brick”. The sense of humor was honed with the collaboration of the MWS animation firm’s writers. Playmates and their team essentially served as associate producers and contributing writers to the miniseries that was first launched to sell-in the toy action figures. Phrases like “Heroes in a Half Shell” and many of the comical catch phrases and battle slogans (“Turtle Power!”) came from the writing and conceptualization of this creative team. As the series developed, veteran writer Jack Mendelsohn came on board as both a story editor and scriptwriter. David Wise, Michael Charles Hill, and Michael Reaves wrote most of the scripts.

The miniseries was repeated 3 times before it found an audience. Once the product started selling, the show got syndicated and picked up and backed by Group W, which funded the next round of animation. The show then went network, on CBS. Accompanied by the popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1987 TV series, and the subsequent action figure line, the TMNT were soon catapulted into pop culture history. At the height of the frenzy, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Turtles’ likenesses could be found on a wide range of children’s merchandise, from Pez dispensers to skateboards, breakfast cereal, video games, school supplies, linens, towels, cameras, and even toy shaving kits.

While the animated TV series, which lasted for 10 seasons until 1996, was more light-hearted, the comic book series continued in a much darker and grittier tone. In 1990 a live-action feature film was released, with the turtles and Splinter being portrayed by actors in partially animatronic suits created by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. The film became one of the most successful independent films and spawned two sequels, as well as inspiring a 3D animated film set in the same continuity, which was released in 2007 under the title TMNT. After the end of the cartoon series, a live action series in the vein of the films was created in 1997 in conjunction with Saban Entertainment. The series was called Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation and introduced a fifth, female turtle called Venus de Milo. However, the series was largely unsuccessful and was canceled after one season.

The property lay dormant until 2003, when a new animated TV series also entitled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles began to air on Fox Box (4Kids TV). The series storyline stuck much closer to the original Mirage comic book series, but was still less violent. It lasted for seven seasons and 156 episodes, ending in February 2009.

On October 21, 2009, it was announced that cable channel Nickelodeon (a subsidiary of Viacom) had purchased all of Mirage’s rights to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles property. Mirage retains the rights to publish 18 issues a year, though the future involvement of Mirage with the Turtles and the future of Mirage Studios itself is unknown. Nickelodeon has developed a new CGI-animated TMNT television series and partnered with fellow Viacom company Paramount Pictures to bring a new TMNT movie to theaters. The TV show premiered on Nickelodeon on September 29, 2012. The live-action film, produced by Platinum Dunes, Nickelodeon Movies, and Paramount Pictures, directed by Jonathan Liebesman, and produced by Michael Bay, was released on August 8, 2014. A sequel, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, was released June 3, 2016.

Donatello (Donnie) – The scientist, inventor, engineer, and technological genius, Donatello wears a purple mask and wields a bo staff. Donatello is perhaps the least violent turtle, preferring to use his knowledge to solve conflicts, but never hesitates to defend his brothers. He is named after the early Renaissance Italian artist and sculptor from Florence, Donatello.

Leonardo (Leo) – The tactical, courageous leader and devoted student of his sensei, Leonardo wears a blue mask and wields two katana. As the most conscientious of the four, he often bears the burden of responsibility for his brothers, which commonly leads to conflict with Raphael. Leonardo was named after the Italian polymath, painter, engineer, inventor, writer, anatomist, and sculptor, Leonardo da Vinci.

Michelangelo (Mikey) – The most stereotypical teenager of the team, Michelangelo is a free-spirited, relaxed, and often goofy jokester and known for his love of pizza. Michelangelo wears an orange mask and wields a pair of nunchucks. He provides the comic relief, though he still has an adventurous side. The least mature of the four Turtles, he shows characteristics of a “surfer” type and is often depicted with a Southern Californian accent. He is named after the Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer, Michelangelo. His name was originally misspelled “Michaelangelo” by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman.

Raphael (Raph) – The team’s bad boy, Raphael wears a dark red mask and wields a pair of sai. He is physically very strong, has an aggressive nature, and seldom hesitates to throw the first punch. He is often depicted with a very pronounced New York accent. His personality can be fierce and sarcastic, and oftentimes delivers deadpan humor. He is intensely loyal to his brothers and sensei. He is named after the Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance, Raphael.


Kung Fu Panda

cast-of-kung-fu-panda The stories are set in the Valley of Peace, a fictional land in ancient China inhabited by anthropomorphic animals. Po, a giant panda, is a kung fu fanatic who idolizes the Furious Five; Tigress, Monkey, Mantis, Viper, and Crane; a quintet of kung fu students trained by the red panda Master Shifu (“shifu” being itself Mandarin for “master”). As he helps his goose adoptive father Mr. Ping in his noodle restaurant, Po is unable to pursue his dream of becoming a kung fu master himself.

Grand Master Oogway, an old tortoise and Shifu’s mentor, has a vision that Shifu’s adoptive son and former student, the evil snow leopard Tai Lung, will escape from prison and return to the Valley of Peace to take revenge for being denied the Dragon Scroll, which is said to hold the secret to limitless power. Shifu is alarmed and sends his messenger, the goose Zeng, to prevent Tai Lung’s escape. He then holds a kung fu tournament for the Furious Five so that Oogway may identify the Dragon Warrior, the one kung fu master worthy of receiving the Dragon Scroll and capable of defeating Tai Lung. Forced to take a cumbersome noodle cart to the tournament, Po arrives as the arena doors close and is unable to enter. Desperate to see the Dragon Warrior chosen, Po straps himself to a set of fireworks, rockets into the sky, and crashes into the middle of the arena and opens his eyes to see Oogway pointing his finger at him. To the audience’s surprise, Po’s confusion, and the Furious Five’s dismay, Oogway proclaims Po as the Dragon Warrior.

Believing Oogway’s decision to be a mistake, Shifu tries to get rid of Po by ridiculing him into quitting kung fu training coupled with a torturous training regime. The Furious Five similarly mock and disdain of Po as an upstart with no skill in kung fu. After receiving encouragement from Oogway, Po endures his grueling training and slowly begins to befriend the Five with his tenacity, culinary skill, and good humor. Meanwhile, Tai Lung escapes from prison as foreseen by Oogway, ironically picking his locks with one of Zeng’s feathers. Shifu learns of Tai Lung’s escape from Zeng and informs Oogway, who extracts a promise from Shifu to believe in Po and then ascends to the sky in a cloud of peach blossoms. Still unable to grasp the basics of kung fu, Po despairingly admits that he has no chance of defeating Tai Lung. Shifu, however, discovers that Po is capable of impressive physical feats when motivated by food. Using food as positive reinforcement, Shifu successfully trains Po to incorporate these feats into an effective kung fu style.

Meanwhile, the Furious Five set out to stop Tai Lung themselves, only to be overwhelmed and defeated by Tai Lung’s nerve strikes. Shifu decides that Po is ready to receive the Dragon Scroll, but the scroll reveals nothing but a blank reflective surface. Believing the scroll to be useless, Shifu orders Po and the Five to evacuate the valley. As Tai Lung arrives and fights Shifu, the distraught Po finds his father who, in an attempt to console him, reveals that the long-withheld secret ingredient to his famous “secret ingredient soup” is “nothing”, explaining that things become special if they are believed to be. Po realizes that this concept is the entire point of the Dragon Scroll, and goes back to confront Tai Lung before he is able to kill Shifu.

Po becomes a formidable challenge for Tai Lung as he guards the Dragon Scroll, with an unorthodox fighting style that confuses and frustrates his opponent; Tai Lung’s otherwise debilitating nerve strikes don’t affect Po due to his body fat. Tai Lung momentarily bests Po and retrieves the scroll, but is unable to understand or accept its symbolic meaning. Eventually, Po defeats Tai Lung in combat before using the mysterious Wuxi Finger Hold to finish him off once and for all. Po is praised by the Valley of Peace and earns the respect of all the Furious Five, who fully acknowledge him as a true kung fu master. Po then finds Shifu, who finally attains inner peace with the valley safe once more. After Po and Shifu rest for a moment, Po asks Shifu if he wants to get something to eat, in which he sighs in annoyance, and nonchalantly says, “Yeah.”

Po Ping, an energetic, yet accident-prone, giant panda and die-hard fan of kung fu, who finds himself chosen as the legendary Dragon Warrior by Master Oogway, to everyone’s surprise.

Po Ping, an energetic, yet accident-prone, giant panda and die-hard fan of kung fu, who finds himself chosen as the legendary Dragon Warrior by Master Oogway, to everyone’s surprise.

Master Monkey, a Gee’s golden langur and member of the Furious Five; he has an easygoing attitude, and like Sun Wukong, the Monkey of Chinese folktales, he is adept with a staff.

Master Mantis, a Chinese mantis and member of the Furious Five; he is extremely strong for his size and is also experienced in acupuncture.

Master Crane, a red-crowned crane and another member of the Furious Five; he is pragmatic and has a dry sense of humour.


Now that we have a little history, and a little about each character on each team, who do you think would win in a team battle? We want to know what you think. Don’t have enough information on the teams? Listen or download our podcast and listen to us discuss it in full detail! Just move on over to www.podcastunlimited.com and  go to our archive section and get episode 35.

Next Podcast Unlimited Versus: Better special ops military unit, G.I. Joe Vs. The Expendables.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s